A ship receives its load of oil from the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project's Westeridge loading dock in Burnaby

Kinder Morgan pledges to protect against spills

Kinder Morgan says $100-million investment will protect against oil spills

  • Jun. 4, 2015 2:00 p.m.

By Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

BURNABY, B.C. – Kinder Morgan is pledging to protect against any threat of oil spills caused by its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, as opposition to the project mounts in British Columbia.

The energy-shipping giant showed off its marine and storage terminals in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, detailing new safety measures it is promising to introduce if the $5.4-billion expansion is approved.

Senior director of marine development Michael Davies said Western Canada Marine Response Corp., the agency responsible for spill cleanup, will invest $100 million in new equipment.

Davies said the agency — which is 50 per cent owned by Kinder Morgan — will acquire five new bases along the tanker route and add 100 new jobs if the National Energy Board approves the expansion.

“I think they’re a good organization today, and they exceed all the requirements set by Transport Canada,” he said. “Looking forward, if the expansion proceeds, we’ll see an enhancement of their capability.”

Kinder Morgan hopes to triple the bitumen-carrying capacity of its existing Trans Mountain line by laying almost 1,000 kilometres of new pipe between Edmonton and Burnaby. The expansion would increase the number of tankers in Burrard Inlet to 34 per month from five.

The City of Vancouver and North Vancouver’s Tsleil-Waututh First Nation submitted critical expert evidence to the energy board last week that concluded the project would significantly raise the risk of spills. The Metro Vancouver regional council has formally opposed the project, and released a report concluding a major spill could expose up to 1 million people to toxic benzene fumes.

While Davies said Kinder Morgan is still reviewing the reports to see if the evidence is credible, the company has proposed several safety measures to minimize any threat.

New spill-response bases would be located at ports in Delta, Nanaimo, Sidney, Sooke and Ucluelet, he said. The $100-million investment is being paid for by a fee charged by Trans Mountain to shippers.

He also said that new rules would require tugs to stay with vessels for greater distances and pilots to remain on board longer.

On Thursday, a California-bound tanker picked up heavy oil from the Westridge Marine Terminal and left with two tugs tethered to it. A large containment boom is built around the dock.

The expansion proposal includes three new berths, additional delivery pipelines, a system to treat cargo vapours and a new fire protection system.

At the nearby Burnaby Storage Terminal, there are already 13 massive tanks storing petroleum and the company hopes to build another 14.

The National Energy Board is expected to make a decision in January 2016. Davies said while there is some opposition from interveners, there is also “a lot of support.”

“The project is about providing access to west coast markets for Canadian petroleum,” he said. “It’s something that’s important for Canadian oil production, which is an important part of the Canadian economy.”

— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Mudslides close Highway 1 between Hope and Chilliwack

Eastbound lane not expected to reopen until Saturday afternoon.

Volunteers risk their lives to save others

SAR training prepares them for the job

Many moving parts to economic development

Tourism is only part of the answer

Window art a sign of the season

B.C. artist paints windows across the province

VIDEO: Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival

This year’s event featured six stops, including viewing points and activity centres.

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

Court adjourned again for man linked to Shuswap farm where human remains found

Curtis Sagmoen will appear back in court on Dec. 14

B.C. family advocating for drug decriminalization following death of son

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has noted the New Democrats would decriminalize personal possession of all drugs

God of thunder sends letter to Delta Police

Chief Neil Dubord shared a letter from Thor that included drawings of all the DPD’s vehicles

Most Read